How is Starlix® (nateglinide) used to control Type 2 diabetes?

Starlix (nateglinide) is an oral antidiabetic medication that is used to help patients manage and control Type 2 diabetes. 

This medication is used alone or in combination with other medications to control high blood sugar.  Most often Starlix® (nateglinide) is combined with metformin. It is usually used along with a healthy eating plan and exercise program.

Patients are prescribed this medication based on current blood sugar levels, other medications you may be taking, and how you respond to this medication, as well as other factors including how many meals per day you eat.

Starlix®(nateglinide) comes in a pill and is usually taken up to 30 minutes before eating, three times each day.  If a meal is missed this medication should not be taken.

Starlix®(nateglinide) is available in the following strengths:

60 mg tablets

120 mg tablets

How does Starlix®(nateglinide) work?

Starlix® (nateglinide) stimulates the pancreas cells, called beta cells, to produce more insulin, which helps the body utilize sugar. This improved insulin production takes approximately 15 minutes to begin, resulting in blood sugar levels lowering throughout and after eating a meal.

Patients are instructed to monitor blood sugar levels regularly and report them to the doctor so that the correct dose is always prescribed.  Should blood sugar levels dip very low or spike upwards, it is important to let your doctor know so that dosage can be adjusted.

What are the known side effects of Starlix®(nateglinide)?

Starlix (nateglinide) may cause blood sugar to drop (i.e. hypoglycemia), especially if taken in combination with other medications used to manage blood sugar levels.   It is important to speak to your doctor and pharmacist to find out what to do should you miss a meal while on Starlix® (nateglinide) so you know when and if to take your medication.

Weight gain may occur while on Starlix®(nateglinide).  Monitor your weight closely and speak to your doctor or pharmacist should this happen.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction to this medication may include rash, itching/swelling (of face/tongue/throat), trouble breathing, dizziness.  Should you experience signs of an allergic reaction contact your doctor or emergency medical help as soon as possible.

Who should NOT take Starlix®(nateglinide)?

Starlix® (nateglinide) is not meant for patients who are:

  • Type 1 (insulin dependent) diabetics
  • Pregnant or plan to be pregnant
  • Breastfeeding
  • Living with decreased liver function
  • lactose intolerant (Starlix® contains lactose)
  • Children or those under the age of 18
  • Allergic to this medication or its ingredients
  • Patients who have diabetic ketoacidosis

People with the following conditions should use this medication with caution:

  • Moderately decreased liver function
  • Severely decreased kidney function
  • Pituitary insufficiency
  • Adrenal insufficiency
  • Malnourishment
  • Elderly patients

If you have questions about your prescription medications or any other medication, please contact our team at Canada Online Health by calling toll free 1-800-399-DRUG (3784). One of our patient representatives will be happy to assist you or transfer you to a licensed Canadian pharmacist for a free consultation.

This article contains medical information provided to help you better understand this particular medical condition or process, and may contain information about medication often used as part of a treatment plan prescribed by a doctor.  It is not intended to be used as either a diagnosis or recommendation for treatment of your particular medical situation.  If you are unwell, concerned about your physical or mental state, or are experiencing symptoms you should speak with your doctor or primary health care provider. If you are in medical distress please contact emergency services (such as 911).

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